One of the UK’s leading insurance brokers is urging businesses to understand the cybersecurity risks associated with returning to the workplace.
Towergate Insurance Brokers is warning organisations that in preparation for ‘business as normal’, businesses need to be carrying out risk assessments and rewriting policies to ensure that they are ready for any large-scale return to the office.
Scott Mewse, Account Executive at Towergate Insurance Brokers says that cybersecurity risks will be just as significant as we return to the office as they were upon the move to home working, despite the environment we are returning to being more well established and secure, at least in theory.
Scott said: “The rapid reintegration of remote workers to the workplace will result in additional cybersecurity concerns for businesses, and these must be understood and addressed before it’s too late.
“A key potential issue comes with the integration of personal devices used for working from home now being connected to the office infrastructure, and unapproved and unvetted applications operating on work hardware, as both could open up a potential path for malware to enter the network.
“It’s also worth noting that systems that have been left unattended for over a year have the potential to miss security patches upon their reintroduction, or they could have been targeted by hackers during their closure ready for malware to enter the system when things start back up.
“Of course, the final and biggest threat which should not be forgotten, is the risk of human error.
“To help avoid these issues, organisations should always prepare for the worst, with a strong plan mapped out for all potential issues. We recommend businesses understand their external digital footprint in order to assess where they could be vulnerable to attack, as well as considering the insider threat by reviewing risk mitigation programmes and completing internal monitoring.
“Most importantly, businesses need a solid cyber insurance plan to cover them should the worst happen. The COVID-19 pandemic has already hit many businesses financially, slowing down operations and hampering productivity; the last thing a company needs upon returning to normal productions is to be impacted by a cyber security incident.
“Cyber insurance can cover downtime costs, data breaches and their consequences, as well as providing the technical, forensic and legal expertise needed to mitigate and remediate intrusions. Where cybercrime has occurred, Cyber insurance can cover such losses following fraud or social engineering, including extortion and the fraudulent transfer of funds. Cyber insurance can also cover liabilities arising from a data breach or potential data breach including forensic and technical costs as well as crisis management support and credit monitoring of those affected by the breach.”